Moleskine Acquired by a French Company

We interrupt this program:) …


"The investment fund, Société
has repurchased the small notebooks of an Italian company.

transfers of companies breathes an aroma of nostalgia (?). Moleskine,
celebrated maker of small travel notebooks is changing hands. For 60,000,000
euros, the private fund, Société générale repurchased this once very
French brand. In 1998, Milanese company Modo & Modo restarted it again, to
the great pleasure of Moleskine’s fans.

This transfer with a
French investor, the small PME returns it to the French "fold" with the
desire to build its future while retaining it’s past traditions.

Moleskine has been the travel companion of great adventurers, the
confidant of the great writers, and the witness to great painter’s anguish. From
Van Gogh to Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, a plethora of the last century’s
artists adopted Moleskine’s notebooks for travel, sketching or

Pablo Picasso had a whole collection of them. One, the
sketchpad n° 53, a notebook of 9 centimetres over 13,5  dated June/September
1912 can be seen at the Picasso Museum in Paris. Oscar Wilde never traveled by
train without his notebook: "It"s always necessary to have something sensational
to read", he said. Ernest Hemingway was accustomed to sitting at table with
thela Closerie des Lilas in his "favorite angle": "I’d order a
café-crème and spend long afternoons writing in my note

Most saddened was Bruce Chatwin

At the time,
Moleskine was produced in an artisanal manner by a small family paper mill in
Tours. Amateurs appreciated the rigid paperboard covered in black or brown
fabric, the elastic band which held it closed and the mitre which made it
possible to open it without the pages flying away. In 1986, the papermill owner
died and production ceased.

Most saddened was Bruce Chatwin. Collector,
journalist, novelist and travel writer on Patagonie and the Australian
Aboriginals, was known to say: "To lose my passport is the last of my concern.
To mislay my note book would be acatastrophic." Chatwin told its fright when its
paper maker, installed street of the Old-Comedy in Paris, taught him laconically
that "Moleskine truth is not any more". It sought of it a hundred for one of its

The small Milanese company, Modo and Modo, started production
again in 1998 by depositing the mark no one had taken bothered to
patent. Success came quickly. Notebooks, scetch books, books lined, squared, in
both small and large sizes are sold today to 4,5 million specimens per annum
in some thirty country. JNF Productions, created in 1977 by Jean-Christmas
Flammarion, secured the exclusive rights of distribution for France.

Modo and Modo, Moleskine is it’s only product, makes approximately 70 million
euros in sales turnover. Its owners, Mario Baruzzi and Francesco Franceschi, did
not comment yesterday."

Le Figaro  ("Roughly" translated by Carol Gillott. Merci!)
Google Translation
Babel Fish

Modo & Modo Sale Updates

Moleskine Users Group @ LiveJournal
Moleskinerie @ FLICKR 

Related link:
"Moleskine: How to revive a brand"
By Ben McConnell

Cross-posted at, our new partner site.

3 thoughts on “Moleskine Acquired by a French Company

  1. Google translation

    “Funds of investment of the general Company repurchases the small notebooks at an Italian company. IT IS transfers of companies which exhale a perfume of nostalgia. Moleskine, celebrates manufacturer of small notebooks of voyage, changes hand. For 60 million euros, funds private of the general Company comes to repurchase this so French mark and which however was not it any more. In 1998, the Milanese company Modo & Modo had started again it, for the greatest pleasure of the amateurs. With this transfer with a financial investor of French extraction, small SME returns a little to the “fold” with the same desire for building its future by also exploiting its past. Moleskine was the travelling companion of the large adventurers, the confidant of the great writers, the witness of the anguishes of the great painters. Of Van Gogh with Picasso while passing through Matisse and Hemingway, plethora of artists of last century adopted Moleskine like notebook of voyage, sketch or notes…

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